Inthe renowned playwright Lillian Hellman proposed to Leonard Bernstein that they adapt Voltaire's Candide for the musical theater.

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Hellman observed a sinister parallel between the Inquisition's church-sponsored purges and the "Washington Witch Trials," fueled by anti-Communist hysteria and waged by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Charged with rage and indignition, she began her adaptation of Voltaire's with lyricist John LaTouche and Bernstein, who wrote numerous musical sketches.

Before long, LaTouche was replaced by poet Richard Wilbur. Hellman, Bernstein, and Wilbur worked periodically over the next two years but labored in earnest througha year when Bernstein was simultaneously composing West Side Story.

By OctoberCandide was ready for performances in Boston, where Dorothy Parker contributed lyrics to "The Venice Gavotte" while Bernstein and Hellman had also added lyrics of their own to other numbers.

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The lyricist credits were already beginning to mount up. Although the theme of political aggression originally attracted Lillian Hellman to the project, her sharpest writing on the topic was ironically jettisoned while the show was still out of town. It would appear that the urgent political impetus for writing the musical was the one aspect of the work that didn't stand up to the test of time. Fortunately, the original cast album was recorded by Columbia Records, so the music thrived.

The recording sold well, and Bernstein's score gained a sort of cult status. Ina full-scale production in London, England, was prepared, with a revised book credited to Lillian Hellman assisted by Michael Stewart, and one new musical number "We Are Women," a duet for Cunegonde and the Old Lady, with lyrics by Leonard Bernstein. Inthe Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association mounted a production in which Sheldon Patinkin attempted a complete revision of Hellman's book with a substantial shuffling of musical numbers.

It is probably at this time that Mr. InHarold Prince and Hugh Wheeler devised a new small-scale version which drew the ire of Lillian Hellmanwho at this time withdrew her original adaptation of Voltaire. Harold Prince directed a free-wheeling single-act production, which included some new lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a thirteen-instrument orchestration by Hershy Kay.

When this production moved to the Broadway Theater in Manhattan, the theater itself was rebuilt from the inside out: walkways and platforms were constructed around the auditorium, and the audience sat on wooden benches, right in the middle of the action. The audience was even invited to eat peanuts during the show, adding to the circus-like atmosphere.

The young and lively cast, and spirited musical direction by John Mauceri, helped make this production Candide's first critical and popular success. Known as the "Chelsea" version, this is the earliest version of Candide available for performance.

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As a full length two-act production, a great deal of music that had been cut in was reinstated, under Mr. Bernstein's supervision, by John Mauceri. As music director of the Scottish Opera in Glasgow, John Mauceri took the opportunity to examine Candide one more time inwith a production that included even more music, including a new "Entr'acte" and a recurring chorale, "Universal Good," created by Mr. Bernstein from a long-discarded aria. After Mr. Bernstein had attended the final rehearsals and the opening in Glasgow, as well as a production later in the season devised by Jonathan Miller for the Old Vic in London, he decided the time had come for the composer himself to re-examine Candide.

For example, he altered the endings of several numbers, including "Glitter and Be Gay," where he placed chords on off-beats in the manner of Tchaikovsky, whose Fourth Symphony he had just conducted. Leonard Bernstein and John Wells created a narration, performed at the time by Adolph Green, that moved the action swiftly from one musical number to the next. Prince directed Candide for Livent, on Broadway. It had been more than twenty years since Candide had a Broadway production.Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities.

Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. Browse Theatre Writers. Pangloss: that everything that occurs is for the best, no matter what. Their existence seems to be perfect. Throughout the course of the show, however, this doctrine is constantly called into question as Candide is, in one whirlwind act, exiled, forced into the Bulgarian army, caught up in the Spanish Inquisition, cheated out of a fabulous fortune, shipwrecked on a remote island, and generally being relentlessly torn apart from his love, Cunegonde.

Featuring a splendid score by the unparalleled Leonard Bernstein and a charming book by Hugh Wheeler, Candide is a witty and wacky satire of an operetta.

View All Characters in Candide. Guide written by Ellen Leslie. Sign up today to unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Join Now. New York, NY. Our Price. Gain full access to show guides, character breakdowns, auditions, monologues and more!

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Shows Candide. Log in to add yourself as a fan! Show Information. Hugh Wheeler. Leonard Bernstein. Richard WilburLeonard Bernstein.We're watching " Tiger King " on Netflix for sure. Our recommendations also include " Night on Earth ", " Ozark ," and more. See our picks.

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Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse. Alexandre, a young and honest farmer, is oppressed by an authoritarian wife, who makes him work like a dog.

When she dies in a car crash, he decides to stay in bed, absolutely free and We believe that adapting Voltaire's Candide originally published in in a free way entirely based on contemporary references, is a revolutionary mission. Not only because it is a rare A grouchy shopkeeper made an unsuccessful financial investment, and now he is on the verge of bankruptcy. In order to avenge oneself he engages his own family into a plan to rob a next door bank. The aunt of Alfred Puc, a meek tax-collector in Paris, dies while riding in a moving van.

The driver, not wishing to be bothered by a police interrogation, hides her corpse in a cupboard During the course of a vendetta on Corsica, a mainlander is persuaded to stand for election as mayor. In St. Tropez, French gendarme Cruchot and his men battle petroleum-drinking, human-looking, metallic aliens.

Jockey Jack has a bill open with a gangster just released from jail. He somehow manages to parry the gangster's knife attack backstage at a theatre and the latter ends up dead being put The story takes place in the racecourses around Paris. A so-called major sells his tips to naive characters. In this story, Candide, a young Westphalian born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh, is driven out of the castle, and joins his tutor Pangloss and his girlfriend Cunegonde to find another world with no Bulgars, Avars, or Jews.

Written by Ricky Khoury. The script writers have transposed the action of Voltaire's famous novel into the twentieth century,essentially the forties and the fifties. By doing so ,they did not make it realistic for all that: Carbonneaux's movie remain a fable faithful to the writer's spirit. Do not look for historical accuracy here: it's a mad story where the writers found good equivalents of the horrors depicted by Voltaire particularly the horror of war. It does not always works ,but when it works,the lines are really funny and Jean-Pierre Cassel is ideally cast as Candide who ,in the worst situations, always shares the philosophy of his master Pangloss "everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" ,perfect paraphrase of "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good" or "every cloud has a silver lining".

Like this?In the version, the book was rewritten by Hugh Wheeler as adapted from Voltaire and at the insistence of director Hal Prince with added humor, ultimately saving it from being a complete disaster by some accounts. The version took itself too seriously, with Hellman attempting to make political statements with the admittedly sardonic Voltaire novelette.

This recording is especially worthwhile in contrast to the far more publicized version written by Wheeler. For those who would prefer a more serious take on the musical, this recording is well done, and Bernstein 's glorious score shines as usual.

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Streams Videos All Posts. Stream or buy on:.Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernsteinbased on the novella of the same name by Voltaire. The primary lyricist was the poet Richard Wilbur.

Maurice Peress and Hershy Kay contributed orchestrations. Although unsuccessful at its premiere, Candide has now overcome the unenthusiastic reaction of early audiences and critics and achieved enormous popularity. It is very popular among major music schools as a student show because of the quality of its music and the opportunities it offers to student singers.

Candide was originally conceived by Lillian Hellman as a play with incidental music in the style of her previous work, The Lark. Bernstein, however, was so excited about this idea that he convinced Hellman to do it as a "comic operetta"; she then wrote the original libretto for the operetta.

Hershy Kay orchestrated all but the overturewhich Bernstein did himself. The premiere production was directed by Tyrone Guthrie and conducted by Samuel Krachmalnick.

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The sets and costumes were designed by Oliver Smith and Irene Sharaffrespectively. Pangloss, and Irra Petina as the Old Lady. This production was a box office disaster, running only two months for a total of 73 performances. Hellman's libretto was criticized in a New York Times review as being too serious: [4]. When Voltaire is ironic and bland, [Hellman] is explicit and vigorous.

When he makes lightning, rapier thrusts, she provides body blows. Where he is diabolical, [she] is humanitarian This production used Lillian Hellman's book with an additional credit 'assisted by Michael Stewart', and it was directed by Robert Lewis with choreography by Jack Cole.

Pangloss and Edith Coates as the Old Lady. The Musical Director was Alexander Faris. It ran for 60 performances.

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Without Bernstein's involvement, the show underwent a series of Broadway revivals under the direction of Harold Prince. Lillian Hellmanthe author of the original book, refused to let any of her work be used in the revival, so Prince commissioned a new, one-act book from Hugh Wheeler. The sole element of Hellman's book that remained was her invented name Maximilian for Cunegonde's brother. The character has no given name in Voltaire's novella, and is referred to as "Cundegonde's brother" or "the young Baron".

The lyrics were worked on by the team of artists listed above. This minute version, omitting over half of the musical numbers, was known as the "Chelsea version", and opened in at Robert Kalfin 's Chelsea Theater Center in the Brooklyn Academy of Musicbefore moving to the Broadway Theatre in and running there for nearly two years, closing in after performances.

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Stadlen Dr. Panglossand June Gable as the Old Lady. The Chelsea version was marked by a unique production style. Eugene Lee helped Prince make sure that the multi-scene show would not get bogged down in set changes — he created platforms for the action that allowed scenes to change by refocusing attention instead of changing scenery.

Actors performed on platforms in front, behind, and sometimes between audience members. Some sat on bleachers, others on stools on the stage floor. As the story unfolded, so did the stage, with sections falling from above, opening, closing, flying apart or coming together. A member orchestra played from four areas. The conductor, who wore period costume and gold braid, could be seen by audience and musicians alike on television monitors.See our picks.

This was a little more interesting - CANDIDE is a novel a small novel, to be accurate regarding the state of corruption and evil in the world, and attacking the philosophy of the German Leibnitz, in the persona of "Dr. Pangloss", who insists that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that the acts of cruelty and sundry natural disasters are all for the best.

Voltaire wrote the novel ZADIG inand it had suggested that the efforts of a good man the Persian philosopher Zadig could change conditions. It has been suggested that Voltaire's mistress at the time made him more optimistic. But in the ten years following three things happened. Voltaire tried to influence the court and policies of his pen-pal, King Frederick the Great of Prussia and their relationship became quite strained as a result - until Voltaire left Prussia after an embarrassing period in a Prussian jail.

Then his mistress died. Then in Europe was shocked by the terrible Lisbon Earthquake and tidal wave that killed nearly 40, people. This last disaster was the straw that broke the camel's back on Voltaire accepting Leibnitz seriously. He also made sure to bring in the Lisbon Earthquake in the novel Dr. Pangloss takes the opportunity to discuss the scientific origin of earthquakes while his student, Candide, almost dies from shock and starvation.

CANDIDE is a wonderful, cynical novel, and it's solution - that we have to try to "tend our own garden" to find some degree of personal happiness and purpose on our Earth - is not a bad one. But it was not planned as a play although dramatizations of it began almost from the start - none by Voltaire himself.

The best known attempt is the musical by Leonard Bernstein with libretto 1 by Lillian Hellman, and libretto 2 by Hugh Wheeler. But this forgotten little adaptation was not bad. Frank Finlay appeared as Voltaire, from time to time, doing the portions of the story that were needed for continuity or to inform the reader of what was going on.

This actually worked quite well, and the rest of the cast including Ian Ogilvy as Candide handled the off the wall plot wherein Candide and his companions go out of one frying pan into another fire time after time after time. It managed to hit the best moments of the story quite well, and keep the audience's attention. I see it is on video, so it is still available for current audiences to sample and enjoy.

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Leonard Bernstein's Candide, a Comic Operetta in Two Acts

Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites.Satire may be defined as the particular literary way of making possible the improvement of humanity and its institutions.

The satirist adopts a critical attitude and usually presents his material with wit and humor. Aware of grave limitations in the institutions which humanity has erected, he may seek through laughter to effect a remodeling rather than the demolishing of them. Voltaire is to be identified as such a satirist, and he sought a most thorough-going remodeling of human behavior and institutions.

Basically satire is of two kinds: that which follows the tradition of Horace, which is mild, urbane, good-natured, and which aims to correct by means of tolerant, sympathetic laughter; and that of Juvenal, which is biting, vituperative, derisive, and which is filled with moral indignation at the corruption and evil of man and his institutions.

To put it another way, one may say that Horatian satire sports with folly, and that Juvenalian satire attacks crimes or at least offenses deemed to be anti-social. Obviously the latter type, if it invites laughter at all, invites scornful laughter. Both types of satire are found in Candide. And the significant thing is that even when Voltaire was most aroused, he employed the light touch and achieved a tone often of gaiety that is deceptive to the literal-minded reader who accepts the tale as an exaggerated account of the protagonist's adventures and no more.

Voltaire's primary device as a satirist is that of irony, applying it not only to statement but also to event, situation, and structure. Irony is a rhetorical device by means of which the writer's or speaker's actual intent is expressed in a manner carrying the opposite meaning. Quite often, as in Voltaire's work, it is characterized by grim humor. Usually the writer sets down words of praise to imply blame, and words of blame to imply praise, the former practice being more common.

As a literary device, irony is effective because it calls for restraint. The satirist who depends upon it never descends to railing or to sarcasm; he expects his audience to get the point. One can understand why Thierot lauded Voltaire as the "most excellent author of quips and jests" and that both Baron Grimm and Mme.

The targets of Voltaire's satire are many and varied.

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First in importance, to be sure, is philosophical optimism; others include religion, kings and the State, war, avarice, social pride, and folly of one kind or another. In the moral order, dishonesty, sham, prostitution, and all the grave and petty inhumanities of man against man are assailed, just as in the natural order disease, cataclysms, and malformations are.

For his purpose Voltaire depended especially upon exaggeration, but he also used the contrasting device of understatement, often in the form of litotes, which is understatement whereby something is affirmed by stating the negative of its opposite — a common device in ironic expression. Related to it is euphemism, a figure of speech in which an indirect statement is substituted for a direct one.

Euphemistic terms have been used by many writers to avoid bluntness or offense, but they reveal a tendency to be insincere and sentimental. Voltaire used them ironically with fine comic effect to advance his satire of injustice, crime, and folly.

Caricature and parody, ways in which the author exaggerated details of one sort or another for the same purpose, also must be noticed. Voltaire's primary purpose in writing Candide was to demolish the theory of Optimism, and for this purpose exaggeration served him best.

He opposed gross absurdity with absurdity — the doctrine repeatedly voiced by Pangloss and echoed by his disciples versus the conclusions to be drawn from the fantastic experiences which are recorded. Candide is driven from what for him and others at the baron's castle was "the best of all possible worlds.

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The superlative is dominant from the very beginning. Life at the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh is utopian, a life of perfect happiness. It is a "most beautiful castle.